Article Date: 8/1/2009

Board Certification

Board Certification

To the Editor:

Just a note to say I appreciated Dr. Elliot Kirstein's discourse on board certification ("Should Optometry Approve Board Certification?" OM June 2009). Where do things go from here?

Jordan D. Rosen, O.D.
Midlothian, Va.

Dr. Kirstein replies:

Thank you. In spite of my stated position in OM, I admit that I do not believe that certification is all bad. I assume that you know it has passed, and I am not grieving. I was asked to write an "against" article, and I did so without having my entire heart in it. My hope from this new perspective is that certification will help get many off of their behinds, and that it will set the bar just a little bit higher for all of us. After all, we expect our auto mechanics to keep up.

Keep in mind the dark sides of optometry that I didn't mention in my article. An embarrassing number of us are not even Medicare Part B Medicare providers, and, many current laws permit O.D.s to continue to practice for their entire life without being awake through even one continuing education lecture. The board certification initiative shows the collective commitment to being current that our patients deserve. I hope that this will be an alarm clock going off, and for those who do not get on the bandwagon, realize there will be more business for those who do.

Certification shows our commitment to our profession in contrast to mere evolvement. I often recall a clever and graphic comparison between the two concepts made by the iconic J. R. Ewing, from the Dallas TV series. He said: "The difference between commitment and evolvement are like the difference between the chicken and the pig in bacon and eggs. The chicken is evolved and the pig is committed." OM

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Optometric Management, Issue: August 2009